While it might seem a bit silly to dedicate a whole post to just yarn overs, in truth there are actually FOUR different scenarios:
- YO between a knit and a knit stitch
- YO between a knit and a purl stitch
- YO between a purl and a purl stitch
- YO between a purl and a knit stitch
I find it annoying that ALL FOUR are abbreviated the same way and ALL FOUR are shown the same way on charts.
Now That You Know, What Should You Do?
It’s actually pretty easy, and it really has to do with that second stitch. So, let’s divide those 4 different scenarios into just 2 (yep, we can halve them from 4 to 2):
Scenario 1: When the second stitch is a KNIT stitch
This takes care of both #1 and #4 from the top of this article.
This is the easier of the two. In these cases, you just work a regular YO!
Scenario 2: When the second stitch is a PURL stitch
This takes care of both #2 and #3 from the top of this article.
In these cases, work a BACKWARDS YO (a BYO). This means that you’ll wrap the yarn in the other direction.
How to Work a YO when the next Stitch is a Purl
If you have a Yarn Over that goes between either a Purl and a Purl or a Knit and a Purl, read on for how you should work it:
What to do?
Just work the Yarn Over as a Backward Yarn Over (a BYO). Here’s what to do, and be sure to also read what to do on the next row.
When You Work a BYO, It Will Feel Weird When Working the Next Stitch
You’ll likely need to hold the BYO or it won’t stay.
Next Row if you have a BYO
If you make a BYO, you also need to take care when working it in the next row. You’ll know right away when you come to a BYO though, because it will look weird on the left needle.
Just roll it down so that the stitches are all correct and Purl it THRU BACK LOOP (or Knit TBL if a Knit is what your pattern wants).
It’s Worth the Effort
You’ll be thanked with YOs that all look the same size! And in reality, it’s only a bit of extra effort.
About the Instructor: Jody Richards
Jody is the founder and lead editor of Knotions. She loves poring over stitch dictionaries and trying out new stitches. And while she likes all things crafting (well ok, except that one thing), yarn crafts are her true love (and she has the stash to prove it).
She’s a serial starter-of-projects and has a serious problem with finishing things without a deadline.
And don’t get her talking about hand-dyed yarns. You’ve been warned.